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Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? #2796661
12/30/18 01:57 AM
12/30/18 01:57 AM
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Houston, TX
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In my search for my first grand piano, I have come across a 1989 Baldwin Model L. The dealer is telling me that the piano is a one-owner piano that has been played by a hobby pianist. He is offering it for around $8,800 with a 1 year dealer warranty and said it has been on the floor for a while because of the cosmetic damages around the brown wood case. The dealer claims it is the best value i will ever find for this price if I don't mind the cosmetic issues.

I played it and it sounded quite pleasant, a little bit brighter than the sound I was looking for, but with my budget I can't be too picky (to give you an idea of my sound preference, I would take a Bosendorfer over a Steinway any day). My alternative is a Ritmuller GH170R which will cost around $5,000 more which I prefer a bit better in sound right now I think (but am not 100 % sure). One of the problems is that they are at different dealers and in completely different room acoustics which makes it hard to truly compare and while the Ritmuller definitely has a warmer sound, I'm not sure it is exactly what I was looking for either.

Regarding resale value, the Ritmuller dealer is assuring me that the Ritmuller will increase in value and the Baldwin continue to decrease and of course the dealer that has the used Baldwin is telling me that an American made piano will never decline as much in value as a Chinese piano would, even a Ritmuller.

Besides the sound difference, I believe that the Baldwin Model L had a heavier action compared to the Ritmuller. Is this just for this model or did these Baldwins have heavier actions in general? I had a hard time playing fast thrills compared to the Ritmuller. But the dealer told me this is only because I'm not used to a grand piano yet and that having a heavier action will actually improve my playing in the long run.

I believe I read somewhere that Baldwin quality over the years had fluctuated and that some years were better than others. Is 1988/1989 one of the "good" years?

I took some pictures below and would welcome any opinions. If the feedback here is positive I will go ahead and pay the money to hire an independent piano tech to perform an evaluation/appraisal before making a final decision.

Google Photos Folder:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/BUPdx2EwSAGYaP447

Lots on my mind, I will appreciate any input!

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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2796663
12/30/18 02:37 AM
12/30/18 02:37 AM
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If the case damage is what's showing the photos, it could probably be cleaned up by someone who does furniture repair. If that's all that's keeping this piano from selling, then I'm surprised that the dealer hasn't had it cleaned up.

I don't know where you're located, but in my neck of the woods $8800 wouldn't be a bad price for an L in good shape, especially from a dealer, but not great either (especially with cosmetic issues). I'm concerned with the action issues you noted. Relative to the other piano I can't say, but a Baldwin shouldn't have a particularly heavy action. It may need some attention.

A Baldwin L can be a very nice piano.

Some say that the 1980s vintage Baldwins had increased QA problems. Have it inspected before you purchase, like you should any second-hand piano. The technician you hire to do the inspection can probably give you a better idea about the value in your market area.

It sounds like the dealer is blowing some sunshine at you to encourage you to buy ("great value," heavy action will improve your playing, etc).



"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2796669
12/30/18 03:59 AM
12/30/18 03:59 AM
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rhawke dealer quote- "I'm not used to a grand piano yet and that having a heavier action will actually improve my playing in the long run."

There are many ethical dealers out there, several who generously post here on PW. Unfortunately there are also many unscrupulous ones who make statements like the one above and others like: voicing after you get the piano home will be able to make it sound any way you want, or the piano is brand new and will wear in and sound will be much better in your living room than the showroom, or your piano is an investment that will appreciate in the future. The list goes on and on. Run don't walk from dealers who make statements like these.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2796755
12/30/18 12:08 PM
12/30/18 12:08 PM
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Houston, TX
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@SanFrancisco. Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I have heard exactly the voicing comment from the second major dealer in Houston. I wish I could run to other dealers but that would mean a 3-4 hour drive to another major city in Texas. So I'll have to live with them and just make my decision without listening to their sales talk ... thanks to this forum, I feel much better about that than a week ago.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797400
01/01/19 09:10 AM
01/01/19 09:10 AM
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Rockville, MD
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Happy New Year

Regarding the OP's questions:
  • Regarding resale value, the Ritmuller dealer is assuring me that the Ritmuller will increase in value and the Baldwin continue to decrease and of course the dealer that has the used Baldwin is telling me that an American made piano will never decline as much in value as a Chinese piano would, even a Ritmuller.
  • ---Pianos, with the possible exceptions of ones owned by celebrities, e.g., Liberace, are wasting assets. They decline in value. As to American piano values declining less than Chinese pianos, I think it would depend on the brand specifics.
  • "I played it and it sounded quite pleasant, a little bit brighter than the sound I was looking for..." + "Besides the sound difference, I believe that the Baldwin Model L had a heavier action compared to the Ritmuller..."
  • ---At the school where I teach we have a number of little used Baldwin L pianos from 1982. When I say little, I mean... little. There is barely even minimal grooving in the hammers. Regarding the heaviness of the action - if you are used to playing on a worn upright, or an electronic keyboard, playing a less worn piano -- with a heavier action -- will feel heavier, be it a grand, or an upright. As to the heaviness, it is my personal experience that Baldwin and Steinway pianos from the 80's had heavier feeling actions than Bosendorfers of that period. Though there is much dispute about touchweight, I believe that action weights have been getting lighter in recent years, so the Ritmuller, if it's modeled on current German pianos (except Steinway) would feel lighter. As a final comment on the Baldwin - I can't speak to 1989, just 1982, but what I can say is that the Baldwin L, like the SF-10 and SD-10 is a robustly made instrument, built to last. Given the usage scenario you describe, an 80's L should last you for many years.
  • I have not played the Ritmuller, but I did go to their website. I'm impressed by what I read of the build quality and materials used. The Chinese manufacturers have hired many highly qualified industry professionals as consultants - several of whom post regularly on PW - and there is every possibility that the Ritmuller could be a bargain at its price point. I suspect the action would weigh out lighter than the Baldwin, the sound would be different. And, it would be a NEW piano with the manufacturer's warranty in place.
  • "...picky (to give you an idea of my sound preference, I would take a Bosendorfer over a Steinway any day). .."
  • ---Well, this is interesting. Of all the American pianos, it was Baldwin that sounded most like a Steinway. Given what I read about the Ritmuller, it seems they, as other Chinese manufacturers, are modeling their sound on European preferences (with the exception of Boston - Steinway). The Ritmuller might be the better choice for you on this criterion.

If you like the Baldwin, hire an independent tech to evaluate it in its current condition. Ask about voicing. Make sure he measures touch weight for you. Though imperfect, it's better than "it feels heavy" when making a purchase decision.

After that, it's a matter of your taste and your budget. Oh, one more thing. given a clean bill of health on the Baldwin, I'd offer $7500. It will cost you something to have the cosmetics fixed; the piano HAS sat n the sales floor for some time. I suspect there's still some profit in it for the dealer at that price point. Can't hurt to ask.

Good luck with your purchase.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Sanfrancisco] #2797448
01/01/19 11:58 AM
01/01/19 11:58 AM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
rhawke dealer quote- "I'm not used to a grand piano yet and that having a heavier action will actually improve my playing in the long run."

There are many ethical dealers out there, several who generously post here on PW. Unfortunately there are also many unscrupulous ones who make statements like the one above and others like: voicing after you get the piano home will be able to make it sound any way you want, or the piano is brand new and will wear in and sound will be much better in your living room than the showroom, or your piano is an investment that will appreciate in the future. The list goes on and on. Run don't walk from dealers who make statements like these.
The statements you added are valid examples of false dealer claims but the one you quoted could definitely be true(unless the Baldwin's action is particularly heavy) especially the part about not being used to a grand piano's action.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797464
01/01/19 12:39 PM
01/01/19 12:39 PM
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Western New York State, USA
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When I was shopping, I noticed the Baldwins in particular seemed like they had heavy dampers; I found a greater change in perceived touch weight with the damper pedal down over when it was up. That difference was not as noticeable with the other makers. After I bought my Baldwin M, I quickly learned to half pedal if I wanted fast but still clean runs and trills.


Peter
1949 Baldwin M
currently working on Brahms op. 10 Ballades, f-minor sonata and 2nd concerto
Mendelssohn Songs Without Words and E minor Prelude and Fugue
whatever strikes my fancy today.
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797480
01/01/19 01:22 PM
01/01/19 01:22 PM
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Columbus, GA
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Keep looking. The 80's Baldwins had an action that was made in Mexico. Not saying that it couldn't have been good but this particular iteration of the Baldwin action was very poorly constructed and does not hold up well in hard use. The parts were made by machines purchased from the then going bankrupt Pratt Read factory in Connecticut. The tooling had been compromised by a flood in the factory prior to selling it to Baldwin. I personally went there when I worked for Baldwin and reported on the dramatic inconsistencies that I found. Manufacturing in Conway and Truman, Arkansas was commonly shut down due to the inability of the actions coming out of the Pratt Win factory in Juarez. This was not the fault of the Mexican workers but the fault of the tooling and poor conditions at the factory with no control over the humidity and lack of concern for the orientation of the grain. As a result holding tolerances was impossible.

In very light use, it may be ok but not suitable for a serious pianist who is planning to put a bunch of miles on it. If you put a new action in it, it might hold up well if there are no belly work issues with the soundboard and pin block. Price it as though it needs $8000 worth of action work.


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797510
01/01/19 02:52 PM
01/01/19 02:52 PM
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I have nothing to add regarding the condition of the piano since I've never played a Baldwin in my life, nor actually seen one in the flesh, and Sally Phillips has said all that can be said about Baldwins from that era....

But regarding the dealer telling you that a heavier action will improve your playing - that's actually a pretty vague statement. I prefer pianos with a lighter action, and some of the finest Steinway concert grands I have played, including most recently some brand new Hamburg ones in London, have what many would consider a light action. Heavy or sluggish feeling actions are usually indicative of a problem, which could be anything from bad regulation to bad workmanship to bad parts, humidity problems, etc etc etc, and dealers will sometimes just say something to get the piano sold, which is an observation not a criticism. I've had tuners and dealers say to me in the past "this piano will make all other pianos feel easier", but actually all it does is give you fatigue and strain injury. From how you describe the action it sounds like you don't enjoy playing it. Don't spend 8800 dollars on a piano that you don't like.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797538
01/01/19 04:27 PM
01/01/19 04:27 PM
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Rockville, MD
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Ah, to be wrong, in public, on January 1st. Sigh.
Based on Ms. Phillips' expert comments, sure looks like the Baldwin is a non-starter.
Perhaps we were just lucky at our school to get early 80's instruments that have lasted as long as ours without significant issues.
Forum readers - any experience with recent Ritmuller instruments?
Any recordings of the sound of the instruments?


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797546
01/01/19 04:55 PM
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Ritmuller I think is quite good. I've played a couple of uprights, they weren't stellar but they were also priced accordingly. I'd personally be tempted to shop around and see what else is available. What kind of price does the Kawai GL50 come in at over there in the USA? I thought it was a very good piano when I played one in Vienna.

The Pearl River factory does produce some nice pianos now. In the past the ones I have tried have needed a lot of preparation work, regulation, voicing, sorting out things in the pedals etc, but when they're serviced properly they can sound very nice. I played one with the Bentley name on it about 3 years ago and it was regulated beautifully.

What I can't tell you is how long they last under strenuous practice conditions, but perhaps there are people on this forum who can tell you.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797669
01/02/19 02:39 AM
01/02/19 02:39 AM
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In 2008, the last year Baldwin produced the Artist grands, Larry Fine's "The Piano Book" put Baldwin in a category labeled "High Performance Pianos," and describes the pianos in that category as "built to a standard that favors high-performance design, features, materials and workmanship." Fine documents a quality problem in the 1980s, but doesn't condemn the brand.

Reasonable people acknowledge the QA problem, but this carte blanch, wholesale condemnation of Baldwins only comes from one source. And it doesn't seem to square with reality. Owners of these pianos have defended them. Former Baldwin dealers have defended them. Baldwin built and sold thousands of pianos in this era, and I don't hear any other former Baldwin employee bashing them.

I'm not going to twist the OP's arm to buy the Baldwin, but if he's interested in it, he should simply have it inspected, like one should do with any second hand piano. Better the advice of a tech who's actually inspected the piano in question, than the advice of someone who summarily rejects every Baldwin produced after 1980. That's irrational. Let a tech determine hands-on how much action work is needed (if any).

If the OP bought the the Baldwin, and were even to invest the dramatic $8000 in action work, he'd still save more than $50,000 over the cheapest Steinway, and nearly $80,000 over a similarly sized Steinway. Fine said that this grouping were "wonderful instruments, and some of the best values in the piano world," and they still are!

It's been said that Steinway dealers don't like to compete with used Steinways. I suspect that they don't want to lose sales to second hand Baldwins either. The fact of the matter is that a lightly used Baldwin Artist grand--or one that's been well cared for--represents a phenomenal value now, just like in 2008.

The Baldwin L is a very nice piano. If a given specimen is defect free, and in good shape, no one should be discouraged from purchasing it simply because of the year it was built.


"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Retsacnal] #2797721
01/02/19 07:39 AM
01/02/19 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
In 2008, the last year Baldwin produced the Artist grands, Larry Fine's "The Piano Book" put Baldwin in a category labeled "High Performance Pianos," and describes the pianos in that category as "built to a standard that favors high-performance design, features, materials and workmanship." Fine documents a quality problem in the 1980s, but doesn't condemn the brand.

Reasonable people acknowledge the QA problem, but this carte blanch, wholesale condemnation of Baldwins only comes from one source. And it doesn't seem to square with reality. Owners of these pianos have defended them. Former Baldwin dealers have defended them. Baldwin built and sold thousands of pianos in this era, and I don't hear any other former Baldwin employee bashing them.

I'm not going to twist the OP's arm to buy the Baldwin, but if he's interested in it, he should simply have it inspected, like one should do with any second hand piano. Better the advice of a tech who's actually inspected the piano in question, than the advice of someone who summarily rejects every Baldwin produced after 1980. That's irrational. Let a tech determine hands-on how much action work is needed (if any).

If the OP bought the the Baldwin, and were even to invest the dramatic $8000 in action work, he'd still save more than $50,000 over the cheapest Steinway, and nearly $80,000 over a similarly sized Steinway. Fine said that this grouping were "wonderful instruments, and some of the best values in the piano world," and they still are!

It's been said that Steinway dealers don't like to compete with used Steinways. I suspect that they don't want to lose sales to second hand Baldwins either. The fact of the matter is that a lightly used Baldwin Artist grand--or one that's been well cared for--represents a phenomenal value now, just like in 2008.

The Baldwin L is a very nice piano. If a given specimen is defect free, and in good shape, no one should be discouraged from purchasing it simply because of the year it was built.



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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797748
01/02/19 08:49 AM
01/02/19 08:49 AM
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Columbus, GA
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The section that you quoted from Piano Buyer was written long after other management took over and quality issues were addressed. I have often spoken about the issues with the 80's Baldwin product. I have opinions about other brands as well but do not voice them because I have never been an employee nor do I have first hand information about their production. In the case of Baldwin, I was there in their factories and traveled among the dealers on their behalf. I saw first hand the issues, having been sent to the factory to identify the problems.


Sally Phillips
Owner/ Technician
Piano Perfect, LLC
Steinway & Sons Pianos
Columbus, GA
New Steinway, Boston and Essex pianos
www.steinwaypiano.com
Acoustic Piano Technical Consultant - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
http://www.pianobuyer.com/current-issue/07a-should-i-have-my-piano-rebuilt.html
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797767
01/02/19 10:11 AM
01/02/19 10:11 AM
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Urbandale, Iowa
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Originally Posted by rhawke

Regarding resale value, the Ritmuller dealer is assuring me that the Ritmuller will increase in value and the Baldwin continue to decrease and of course the dealer that has the used Baldwin is telling me that an American made piano will never decline as much in value as a Chinese piano would, even a Ritmuller.

This is absolutely BS. No piano increases in value in the short term. Pianos are like cars, the moment a new piano is sold it loses significant proportion of its value. If pianos increased in value dealers wouldn't sell them until they could realize that increase (sell at the higher price). A used piano will generally hold its value better.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797773
01/02/19 10:32 AM
01/02/19 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rhawke
Unfortunately, I have heard exactly the voicing comment from the second major dealer in Houston.


Amen. So have I.

I tried a piano recently and point-blank asked the dealer (who is also a technician) if it was "concert ready."

He said "yes."

I then painstakingly walked him through the inconsistencies in the regulation, how thin the upper register was, how "twangy" several notes were, etc.

Of course, his response was effectively "Just buy it and we can voice it in your home." Yeah, like twangy strings and a lousy upper register are just an acoustics problem unique to his floor . . .

(A quick tip to all dealers reading this: If a potential buyer is playing Rachmaninoff on your pianos, he's probably not a total ignoramus.)

It's gotten to the point that I'm about ready to just exclusively shop from private sellers. No sales tax, and no sales shenanigans. I've found some outstanding pianos on a particular website (which I won't mention because I'm not here to advertise for anyone). I even flew to another state to try one and had it professionally inspected. I ultimately chose to not buy it for purely subjective reasons, but it was objectively an outstanding piano for an outstanding price.

Anyway, I can certainly relate to your piano shopping woes.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797838
01/02/19 01:10 PM
01/02/19 01:10 PM
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Houston, TX
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rhawke Online content OP
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Wow thank you so much for all these thoughtful answers. I did not expect that much detail! I'm was already leaning towards the Ritmuller even before reading some of the quality issue posts. I think if I had full confidence in the Ritmuller dealer, I might have already taken the plunge and made them a firm offer on one. But the instruments there don't appear prepped properly and when I pointed that out I got exactly the same answer as Piano90X. "Voicing and tuning in your home will fix all of these issues".

Another sales consultant at the same dealer was being honest and told me "We have around 100 pianos here, we don't prep and tune the pianos all the time, that would drive up the cost too much and everybody wants a low price. Most people that come here still buy the pianos and don't hear anything wrong with them even when they are a bit out of tune or not voiced consistently. Tell us if you really like a particular piano and we can have it tuned for you before you buy it"

When I asked why more than half of the pianos in the "used piano room" were out of tune, she straight up told me that they turn off the heat at night. The main problem with that is that I can't stand to play an out of tune piano for even 2 minutes. How am I supposed to find a potentially good sounding used piano if it is out of tune? I don't have the experience to be able to tell ... "oh if this one were in tune, it would be perfect". Out of tune everything just sounds horrible to me.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: S. Phillips] #2797847
01/02/19 01:32 PM
01/02/19 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by S. Phillips
The section that you quoted from Piano Buyer was written long after other management took over and quality issues were addressed. I have often spoken about the issues with the 80's Baldwin product. I have opinions about other brands as well but do not voice them because I have never been an employee nor do I have first hand information about their production. In the case of Baldwin, I was there in their factories and traveled among the dealers on their behalf. I saw first hand the issues, having been sent to the factory to identify the problems.


He's no longer active here but noted piano designer Del Fandrich, also a Baldwin ex-employee, also commented on the quality problems with the Mexican built actions. Sally is not alone.


I have a used Baldwin on my "moving up to a grand one day" list. I wouldn't necessarily dismiss the Baldwin out of hand but would consider investing in an inspection.

I have few doubts about Ritmullers being excellent for the money. I DO have my doubts about the Ritmuller dealer and his statements about future value.

If you're used to a digital. Most acoustic pianos will feel heavy. My Pramberger certainly did. Now 5 years later, I don't notice it. I don't know if it played in, I adapted or a combination of both but as an anecdotal point, there it is.

Kurt


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797860
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Why not try making an offer on the Ritmuller contingent on your approval after it is properly prepped in the store. The dealer will have incentive to tune and prep the piano and you will get a true picture of what you're buying. If they won't do that, I'd move on.

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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797866
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Wow, rhawke, that sounds frustrating. When I’ve been seriously shopping, I have been fortunate enough to have (at the very least) recently tuned pianos to play. I always made a habit of calling ahead a few days before visiting, to make an appointment to see a specific piano(s). The store contacts I made usually took the hint, making sure things were ready to show. I might have lower expectations for a private seller, but your situation turns that on its head!


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797883
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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797898
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The main problem with that is that I can't stand to play an out of tune piano for even 2 minutes.


Tuning a piano is kinda like giving birth, because as soon as either process ends, entropy immediately follows. Different pianos in different circumstances hold tune to varying degrees, but no acoustic piano holds perfect tune over any length of time. If you've developed a set of "bat ears" (for lack of a better term) dialed in to the perfect tune of the digital, be prepared for some adjustment and even a little disappointment, especially in the first year as your new piano is dialing in. But that's part of the fun of having a living, breathing piano. smile

Since I seem to have a story for everything, a tale of two pianists...

On Christmas Eve with my wife's family, one of her first cousins decided to knock out a few old standards and some Christmas songs on the old Baldwin Acrosonic that was in the "cook house" where we were all gathered. He can't read a note of music, plays strictly by ear, and can run rings around half of you - and I don't care who you are. He can play any genre of music, swapping over in midstream while he's holding a conversation, without any visible effort. He has had more than one offer from folks in Nashville, but piano is fun for him, not work. Playing on that semi-out-of-tune piano, he had a ball and so did everyone around him.

Several of my wife's cousins play (I think nine of them learned on their grandma's old upright) and one did obtain a Master's in performance from a good East Coast school. She even was a featured performer with some of the second tier orchestras around the country when she was younger and taught piano to help pay the bills when she lived in Boston. I thought she might want to play when James (not his real name) took a break and asked her to play for us, but A) She didn't have her music, B)She doesn't play up to her standards anymore and C) the piano isn't a grand and it's out of tune.

Now folks, to me at least, music is about having fun and seeing others enjoy the music. When I think about a true musician, it's all about taking what you have and doing the best with it that you can. True talent and ability is making even an old Acrosonic generate a joy and smiles. It's not about playing perfectly or playing on a perfect instrument...It's about the personal satisfaction and fun of bringing music to life and giving that gift to other people.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2797922
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Originally Posted by rhawke
Another sales consultant at the same dealer was being honest and told me "We have around 100 pianos here, we don't prep and tune the pianos all the time, that would drive up the cost too much and everybody wants a low price. Most people that come here still buy the pianos and don't hear anything wrong with them even when they are a bit out of tune or not voiced consistently. Tell us if you really like a particular piano and we can have it tuned for you before you buy it"


And this is perfectly fine. I totally understand and appreciate this, and I think that speaks a lot about that dealer's honesty and business practices.

I just couldn't believe that the one I visited had told me it was "concert ready." I'll definitely not be visiting them again.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Jolly] #2797943
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Originally Posted by Jolly
Quote
The main problem with that is that I can't stand to play an out of tune piano for even 2 minutes.


Tuning a piano is kinda like giving birth, because as soon as either process ends, entropy immediately follows. Different pianos in different circumstances hold tune to varying degrees, but no acoustic piano holds perfect tune over any length of time. If you've developed a set of "bat ears" (for lack of a better term) dialed in to the perfect tune of the digital, be prepared for some adjustment and even a little disappointment, especially in the first year as your new piano is dialing in. But that's part of the fun of having a living, breathing piano. smile


I'm actually used to accoustics, my last digital is 10 years in the past. I should have completed my sentence. I cannot stand playing an out of tune piano for 2 minutes when I'm supposed to evaluate whether I want to spend 10-15k on it. I absolutely agree with you that there is a lot of fun aspect to playing and I can actually identify with "James" quite a bit. I suck at sight reading, love to play by ear and improvise and have had great times making a lot of fun (while not necessarily the most beautiful or perfect) music while others are singing, adding their instruments, etc.. When I'm in a room with a super out of tune piano then it's time to bring out the rag time or play some honky tonk western music grin grin grin grin

But I really would have no fun playing Chopin Nocturnes on it. So I guess it's all about the type of music and the occasion and again my perfectionist personality that wants to make sure the $15,000 are spent the best way possible.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: KurtZ] #2797978
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Originally Posted by KurtZ
Originally Posted by S. Phillips
The section that you quoted from Piano Buyer was written long after other management took over and quality issues were addressed. I have often spoken about the issues with the 80's Baldwin product. I have opinions about other brands as well but do not voice them because I have never been an employee nor do I have first hand information about their production. In the case of Baldwin, I was there in their factories and traveled among the dealers on their behalf. I saw first hand the issues, having been sent to the factory to identify the problems.


He's no longer active here but noted piano designer Del Fandrich, also a Baldwin ex-employee, also commented on the quality problems with the Mexican built actions. Sally is not alone.


No, Sally is not alone in commenting on quality problems. Even I acknowledge that there were quality problems. But no one else offers up such hyperbolic criticism of the Brand. No one else condemns decades of Baldwin production.

My recollection of Del's posts is that he generally says something to the effect of "have it inspected; you might find a good one."

Check out this post:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...-of-1980-baldwin-model-l.html#Post196005

In it his response to a poster's concern "about the usual Baldwin quality issues" is to point out that the "Baldwin 'quality issues' generally have more to do with cosmetic detailing than with anything structural."

He also says "the Model L is one of my favorite Baldwin pianos."

If the L is one of Del's favorites, then it ought to be given a fair and objective chance by the rest of us.

As I said above, the L is a very nice piano. I think I'm in good company.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: S. Phillips] #2797988
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Originally Posted by S. Phillips
The section that you quoted from Piano Buyer was written long after other management took over and quality issues were addressed.

In a recent thread you gave this advice:

Originally Posted by S. Phillips
Having worked for Baldwin in the 80's, I would recommend avoiding the production during that time forward.

So, you worked for Baldwin in the 80s, but you suggest avoiding the production from the 80s, 90s and all the way through 2008. Larry Fine rated those same Baldwins as "High Performance Pianos," and their subcategory as "wonderful instruments, and some of the best values in the piano world."

The OP in that thread was specifically looking for a Baldwin SF-10. In spite of that, you gave him this advice:

Originally Posted by S. Phillips
Look for a good used Steinway B ( just under 7 ft.) instead.

He could reasonably expect to find a nice SF-10 under his stated budget of 15k (and I believe he has found one), but a playable Steinway B in original condition would cost at least double, and probably closer to triple his budget.

My understanding is that the SF-10 was rated equal to the Steinway B.

It simply doesn't make any sense to advise someone who is looking for a specific piano that falls within his budget to look for a different one that's going to cost 2 or 3 times his budget and apparently wasn't even rated any better.


Above you add:

Originally Posted by S. Phillips
I have opinions about other brands as well but do not voice them because I have never been an employee nor do I have first hand information about their production.

That is simply disingenuous. You worked at Baldwin in the 80s, but you criticize their production right through the end. Per your LinkedIn page, you have 43 years experience as a piano technician. You have undoubtedly been exposed to thousands of pianos. One need not work in the factory to form an opinion on a piano brand's general level of quality.

It seems clear to me that you are biased against Baldwin. Fair enough. You have a right to your opinion. You may even believe it. But your perspective simply is not consistent with reality.

I supported manufacturing systems for ten years early in my career. I've been in production facilities all over the US and Europe. Every production facility produces defects. Maybe 2 or 3% is acceptable. When it hits 5% people get uptight. At 10% it can significantly impact profit margins and tarnish reputations, but even then, 90% of product is shipping without defects. You give the impression that virtually every Baldwin produced after 1980 was infected with some of the defects and problems from your litany of issues. That simply can't be true. They couldn't possibly have continued to produce for 28 years if everything was defective.


Going back to Fine's market description in that 2008 supplement, there are really only three players in his two top tiers when it comes to mass produced pianos widely available in North America: Baldwin, Steinway and Yamaha.

The Baldwin Artist models occupy a magical space in the market today, where they hold relatively little monetary value, but have lots of musical potential. For someone who wants an American made, high-quality piano for a bargain basement price, these are obvious picks. And there are thousands of them out there in peoples' homes.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Retsacnal] #2798040
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Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Going back to Fine's market description in that 2008 supplement, there are really only three players in his two top tiers when it comes to mass produced pianos widely available in North America: Baldwin, Steinway and Yamaha.


Why was Mason & Hamlin not included in that list? I was under the impression that they revamped things and became top-notch again in the early 2000s.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2800343
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Baldwin had such a checkered history; you should have it inspected by a qualified, independent piano tech. From the period ca1988-1998 it may still be possible to find a good Baldwin Artist Series grand. Things to especially focus on: prematurely worn action, cracks in the treble bridge, split arm. In the late 1990s, a few left the factory with anomalies in the harp. That's about the best my old memory can afford at the moment. Best wishes.
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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: bkw58] #2800371
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Originally Posted by bkw58
Baldwin had such a checkered history; you should have it inspected by a qualified, independent piano tech. From the period ca1988-1998 it may still be possible to find a good Baldwin Artist Series grand. Things to especially focus on: prematurely worn action, cracks in the treble bridge, split arm. In the late 1990s, a few left the factory with anomalies in the harp. That's about the best my old memory can afford at the moment. Best wishes.
:

thumb

Nice objective post. It's reasonable to acknowledge the quality problems while also acknowledging that there were good pianos produced too.

Like any second hand piano purchase--of any brand or production year--if a Baldwin speaks to you, have it inspected. If it turns out to be the horrendous train-wreck that some would have you believe, then no reputable technician is going to recommend it.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Piano90X] #2800381
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Originally Posted by Piano90X
Originally Posted by Retsacnal
Going back to Fine's market description in that 2008 supplement, there are really only three players in his two top tiers when it comes to mass produced pianos widely available in North America: Baldwin, Steinway and Yamaha.


Why was Mason & Hamlin not included in that list? I was under the impression that they revamped things and became top-notch again in the early 2000s.

Well, I spelled out the criteria I used, and you copied it! wink But, in particular, I don't think M&H is a mass produced brand. It's not a knock against their quality. For the record, there are probably a lot of nice old Masons out there too.

All the pianos in those two tiers are good quality, but AFAIK only those three were sold in large numbers in the U.S., and were household names at that time. To the extent that other high quality used pianos exist in the marketplace, they pose a threat to new sales too.

It's well known that a certain American maker doesn't like competing against their own used and rebuilt pianos. It's well known that a certain Japanese maker doesn't like competing against their own used pianos sold through the "gray market." And retail dealers of virtually every brand are slinging FUD at their competition (I'm not saying every dealer--some rise above this). Lots of people love Baldwins. Robert Estrin apparently loves Baldwins, and it looks like he sells the heck out of them. Is it really so hard to believe that some dealers may be slinging FUD at used Baldwins too?

Maybe it's just this simple: when someone who'd like you to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a brand new piano bashes your other options, it's reasonable to wonder if they're offering self-serving advice.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2800921
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Thanks again for all the answers. This weekend I will go and play the Baldwin again. In the meanwhile I found a local piano tech that came highly recommended. He had a good opinion of the store that sells the used Baldwin and said that if they claim their tech already inspected it, I could most likely trust them, but he is still happy to come out and inspect it for me for a regular tuning fee.

That being said, he told me that if the action is too heavy for me, that most likely it would not be worth it for me to pay him to adjust that. So he suggested I try it one more time by myself and if I like the action this time around (with warm fingers unlike last time) I should give him a call to inspect it. Should I not like the action he recommends to keep looking.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2800930
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Sounds like a good tech. Keep his number for whatever piano you think you may buy!


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801727
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I tried the Baldwin again this weekend. It didn't feel as bad as the first time, just a little bit heavier than what I would prefer, but my first impression must have been off from my hands not being warmed up yet when I played it. So I am somewhat thinking about having a tech come out and test it. That being said, a competing dealer today warned me that a used Baldwin would be difficult to repair because "they don't make parts for it anymore". Any truth to that?

I also found a used 2004 Boston GP 178 at the local Steinway dealer. I really liked this piano, sound as well as action. Surprisingly, I preferred the sound of the used 2004 model compared to the brand new GP 178 that was sitting right next to it. The dealer told me that it is a bit warmer in sound and that she feels that the newer pianos are made to sound brighter. Asking price is $14,800 and in Steinway dealer fashion there is not a lot of wiggle room.

The piano was bought at their store by a church 15 years ago and now the church traded up for a Steinway. It has some very minor cosmetic damage, but nothing that bothers me. They told me the piano has been regularly serviced by their own technicians so they feel confident that it is in great shape and can offer a 3 year parts and labor warranty.

Any thoughts on this? Any concerns with buying a church instrument? I read that Bostons used to come in a "regular version vs PE version" in the past, but could not find any details when all Pianos became PEs. In comparison after taxes and delivery this piano would be about $5000 more than the Baldwin.


Last edited by rhawke; 01/13/19 10:49 PM.
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801757
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I'd suggest you stop listening to what any dealer says about their competition.

This guy manages to get parts for Baldwins:

https://livingpianos.com/

When I say "manages," I don't mean to imply that it's difficult. I just mean that he rebuilds them and he loves them. Even in the thin stream of over-the=top criticism, I don't think that I've ever parts being unavailable as one of them.

Also, if you're going to increase your budget, don't do so for a single piano. Check out everything you can find in the same price range.


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801920
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Thanks, yeah I have been looking for anything that I can get for around 14,000 all in (so including the 8.25 % sales tax and the typical $300-$400 delivery fee) which leaves a price before tax of around $12,500. It's not been that easy. There are not many new quality grand pianos in that price range, especially not when I'm really hoping to get something of at least 5'7". A 5'4" Ritmuller is the closest in price and per this forum I should love it, but the one at the dealer had not been prepped well and I actually didn't love it. They will have it looked at next week and I will go back and see if that made a big difference.

And for used inventory, the only dealer that has a lot of used inventory does not appear to have it well presented (many out of tune) so that makes it difficult to identify an instrument that might sound great. The only two used options that are not at that dealer that meet my budget and size requirement are the Baldwin and the Boston. I like the sound and touch of the Boston better and would be willing to pay that price if I knew for sure that it would last me a good 10-20 years without needing anything extremely expensive. The dealer will apply the standard Boston/Steinway trade-up policy, but I don't think I will ever own a piano that expensive, so I'm not really making that a big part of my decision.

Any thoughts on the previous owner being a church for 15 years? Is that a red flag or nothing to worry about since they claim their own Steinway techs have been servicing it all these years?

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801930
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Originally Posted by rhawke
Any thoughts on the previous owner being a church for 15 years? Is that a red flag or nothing to worry about since they claim their own Steinway techs have been servicing it all these years?

Churches can be rough on pianos, but I have purchased a few pianos from Churches. I purchased my 1978 Yamaha C7 semi-concert grand (7'4") from a large Church that built a new building and went to all digital pianos. It was in very good condition, despite a couple of broken bass strings. In fact, I used that as leverage to negotiate a lower price than they were asking. Turns out, the C7 was actually in excellent original condition, though it did need some work.

Now, that being said, if the dealer got the Baldwin from a Church, he probably doesn't have much invested in it to begin with. So, you will have to make a choice on whether to take a chance on the Baldwin L, the Boston or keep looking. I will say this... and keep in mind I am not an expert like some who have posted to your thread; chances are, you are going to have to pay a piano technician to inspect, and possibly service/tune any pre-owned (or even new) piano you buy. In other words, you are going to have to pay extra to get the piano in really good playing condition either way.

My advice? If you remotely like the way the Baldwin L sounds and plays, look for one from a private seller and then pay a good technician to inspect it and get it in good condition for you. It sounds like the dealer you are dealing with is focused on profit more than anything else, which is what they are in business for... that is not a criticism of the dealer. He/she is not going to invest any more in the Baldwin L than absolutely necessary.

Oh yea, one more thing... the way I see it (which is likely very different than most others here) you are taking a certain amount of risk whether you buy new or used, or from a dealer or a Church. Less risk with new, and the dealer perhaps, but that depends entirely on the dealer. If you buy directly from a private owner or a Church, you are taking on more responsibility and risk yourself. But the initial cost will likely be much less than buying from the dealer, and you will have more funds left over to pay a really good tech to service and tune it for you.

Just my .02, and worth what it cost, which is $0. smile

Good luck!

Rick


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Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: Rickster] #2801941
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Thanks Rick, I think I wasn't clear in my questions and things got a bit mixed up:

1) 1989 Baldwin L - from a dealer with 1 year warranty - $9,500 including delivery and tax. - one private hobby pianist owner per the dealer
2) 2004 Boston 178 - from the Steinway store with 3 year warranty and Steinway Promise (trade up), was traded in by a church for a Steinway, $14,800 including delivery and tax - regularly serviced by Steinway dealer

I like the Boston better (action and sound), but am not sure if it even though it is newer has more "miles" on it due to being a church piano. If I didn't know it was from a church and didn't know the age, just from playing it and hearing it I would have also believed that it is just a few years old. I guess the Steinway store put it in it's best condition to show it off on the floor.

I haven't been able to find anything suitable on private sales. Not on pianomart, not on ebay, not even on craigslist. Any other ideas?

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801950
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joe80 Online content
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I'm talking as someone who doesn't know Baldwin pianos at all.

Boston pianos can be really nice, and that seems a fairly sensible price for a 15 year old instrument. The Boston is well made, well designed, feels good, holds its tuning etc etc, and obviously these things are subject to the condition of the instrument.

Churches can be rough on pianos, but equally some of the best cared for pianos are in churches. I wouldn't worry too much about the fact it was in a church and I'd just focus on the condition, sound and touch of the piano in question.

Since you like the Boston better than the Baldwin, and these are the only two pianos currently on your radar, then perhaps the Boston is the one to buy. The Baldwin is a lot cheaper, and that's something to take in to consideration - is the Boston $5000 better than the Baldwin, and would you be willing to live with the Baldwin at the price it's being offered at?

I know people who adore Baldwin pianos and would say that Baldwin compares to Steinway, while Boston is always going to be a lower-class line of pianos, but pianos are so individual that generalisations about makes are rarely helpful on the used market.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801976
01/14/19 03:12 PM
01/14/19 03:12 PM
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North Tx
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North Tx
If you prefer the Boston, make an offer you can stomach and see if they will accept it. I'd still have a tech check it out. Houston and the Dallas area Steinway Halls are affiliated. Don't accept first answer that they don't negotiate. Maybe they won't, but i was able to have discount from new stock, more than enough to cover the 8.25% TX sales tax. If you determine that it's the right piano for you, perhaps convey the number you are comfortable with out the door, and tell them to contact you if it is acceptable. It will or won't be.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2801984
01/14/19 03:48 PM
01/14/19 03:48 PM
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Posts: 21,899
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Victoria, BC
Originally Posted by rhawke
[...]
I like the Boston better (action and sound), but am not sure if it even though it is newer has more "miles" on it due to being a church piano. If I didn't know it was from a church and didn't know the age, just from playing it and hearing it I would have also believed[...]


I am not sure that "being a church piano" necessarily means that the piano "has more 'miles'" on it. Do you have proof that it has? Many church pianos are used very little; primarily for choir rehearsal (once a week?) and Sunday service(s), once or twice a week. More important would be the effect on the piano's condition based on the overall ambient "climate" of the church from one day to the next, from one week to the next, from one season to the next.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802107
01/14/19 07:49 PM
01/14/19 07:49 PM
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Houston, TX
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rhawke Online content OP
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Houston, TX
Thanks for the thoughts!

Assuming, that I can come to an agreement on the price with the Steinway dealer, should I still have the piano inspected by a tech? Or is the fact that it will come with a 3 year parts and labor warranty and is sold by the local Steinway store good enough that I can save that $200?

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802113
01/14/19 08:06 PM
01/14/19 08:06 PM
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If the dealer is reputable, I would be a little less concerned than I would be from a private party. Sounds like you've found a piano you like.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802139
01/15/19 01:24 AM
01/15/19 01:24 AM
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Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
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Conway, AR USA

A Church piano as a used purchase is a tough call, requiring good multiple skills. It may be perfectly fine. On the other hand, depending upon placement, style of playing, et. al., we've witnessed good new grand pianos virtually worn out within the first year of congregational use : hammers, action, strings, key-buttons. Had I not witnessed this first hand, I wouldn't have believed it. A good tech is needed to provide a decent forecast on these. Even if no problems are apparent, these may surface at any time.

Boston. The only complaint we (the dealer) had from these was a lack of dynamic range. (Mostly from college-level teachers.)This was, however, during the first few years of mfg. Have an ear on this if an older Boston. Surely this has been corrected by now. Best wishes.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802269
01/15/19 12:26 PM
01/15/19 12:26 PM
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Houston, TX
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rhawke Online content OP
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Houston, TX
So I made Steinway an offer on the used Boston for 13k out the door ($11,660 plus tax and delivery) contingent on a final inspection and they accepted it. Since they know that we have to go to the hospital tonight for our baby daughter to be born, they offered to extend their typical 48 hour evaluation period to a full 14 day period against a $1,300 fully refundable deposit to schedule the inspection and make the final decision on whether we want to buy the piano. So pretty much now we have 14 days to decide while they are holding the price and the piano for us with no risk for us if we back out. I am very positively surprised that they were willing to hold it that long for us.

Now I really hope that the technician will confirm that it is in good shape and has many more years without issues. I think if it is in good shape, it should be a decent deal and for what it's worth, it will be $11,660 in Steinway Upgrade Promise.

Does anybody have technician recommendations for such an appraisal for Houston? We have one family friend recommendation for Glenn Yost so far.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802312
01/15/19 03:14 PM
01/15/19 03:14 PM
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Retsacnal Online content

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Congratulations on your baby being born!


Re. the piano, they don't just fly off the shelves. Pianos sales is a high cost, low volume sort of business. Anyway, nice of them to hold it without risk to you.

Having it inspected is the right thing to do (as with any second hand piano). Salespeak to the effect of "it's been serviced regularly by us," is vague and nearly meaningless. What's critical is it's condition right now.

12% discount off of their original asking price. I guess that's not bad, considering they said they wouldn't. My experience is that when a professional salesperson surprisingly accepts an offer, it's because it was higher than they were willing to sell for anyway.

If my math is correct, that's $375 for delivery. How far do you live from the dealer? $375 sounds high for a local delivery (IMO). I had a piano picked up north of Philadelphia and delivered to Fairfax, Virginia -- 2 day job, 180 miles through 3 major metropolitan areas -- for $675. That was 5 years ago, but maybe it costs more in TX.


If you don't get a satisfactory recommendation for a technician, you can search for a registered piano technician at the link below.

http://www.ptg.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/directory/RPT/person.html


"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802381
01/15/19 05:55 PM
01/15/19 05:55 PM
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Houston, TX
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rhawke Online content OP
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It's actually a 21 % discount, because the $14,800 was without tax and delivery (would have been $16,400 out the door). I also skipped a few steps in my story above. I explained to them that I was looking at the Baldwin and that the price difference was too high. The next day they sent me a e-mail offer at $13,700 out the door. I e-mailed them back, that I will take it at $12,500 out the door, they countered at $13,000 out the door and said this was the absolute best they could do and I agreed. All of this always contingent on a tuner confirming what they have told me verbally which is that this piano should easily be good for another 10-15 years without any major work. So I still have the opportunity to walk away for any reason until Jan 31.

The $350 is a delivery + first time tuning fee (in TX you pay sales tax on that as well). For this price they will tune it once at their shop before it gets delivered and then they will come out once between 30-90 days after it has acclimated a bit to do a follow up tuning. This was pretty much identical what all the other dealers offered (used and new)

Thanks, I verified that Glenn Yost is on that the PTG list. Let's see if any other recommendations come through.

Re: Used 1989 Baldwin Model L (6'3") - "good" year? [Re: rhawke] #2802897
Yesterday at 08:40 PM
Yesterday at 08:40 PM
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Retsacnal Online content

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I could've sworn you said including tax and delivery above, but no matter. It is a bigger discount in that case, and your negotiations went a pretty normal way. Out the door is definitely what matters to you. I can't speak to the value of a Boston, but I'm glad you found a piano you like for a price you're comfortable with.

And I hope you're not reading this tonight--I hope you're at home with your new baby! Congratulations again on that milestone.


"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
P E R F O R M A N C E over p r o v e n a n c e

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